Are you unhappy in your job? How much time do you spent complaining about it instead of doing something about it? Wouldn’t you rather be in a job you love?

It’s never too late for you to start afresh or take new interest in your current role. Take a look at the following ways you can get serious about improving your career to help you reach new levels of success and happiness in your job.

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Ask yourself ‘What do I want?’

Everyone will tell you that to improve your career, you need to set yourself goals. But how can you do that if you don’t know what you want to do? Many people take years to figure out, and then realise, their ambitions, so there’s no harm in taking the time to decide on what it is you want to do. Think about what you wanted to be as a child, and ask yourself what you want to be – it could be more realistic when your realise. It’s tough to choose a career when you’re undecided, so take your time exploring all of the possible options.

Go back to school

It’s normal to not want to return to education after you’ve left school or university, and some people might never return to studying at all. But to be able to qualify for some careers, some further education might be necessary. Returning to studying can also help you to discover renewed interest in your career, as well as help you get the qualifications you need to step up.

When choosing a postgraduate degree, look at subjects that will provide you with real value to your career. There are a lot of things you can do with a masters in Computer Engineering, and other degrees you might not have considered before. The good news is that many types of courses can be completed online today, allowing you to fit in your studies around your other commitments.

Start trying

How much effort do you put into your daily work? If it’s not 100%, why not? Perhaps you’ve become too comfortable, or perhaps you’re not being challenged enough, but putting more energy and effort into your job can produce some excellent results that could lead to some exciting new things in your career.

If your lack of enthusiasm is because you’re bored by your job and feel like you’re going nowhere, it’s time to change that around. Speak to your employer about your development and make it clear that you’d like to progress, asking them to outline the possible steps. Being stuck in a job you don’t care about can be soul-destroying, so start searching for a way out.

Look back at your achievements

When it comes to applying for a new job or applying for a promotion, it can take time to update your CV and cover letter and bring it up to speed. However, a regular review of your achievements can help. Learning to track your achievements can make it easier to figure out what your strengths are as well as show you how far you’ve come. If you’re looking for real evidence of your skills and talents, this is the way to do it. Review key projects once you’ve completed them and look back at your work regularly to help you figure out what you’ve learned, what you still need to learn and how you can improve. It’s an exercise that will help you take your career more seriously and give you some motivation to move forward.

Work on your productivity

How productive are you? Being able to do things better and quicker are useful skills to have that will help you to get more done during the day. Completing tasks quicker can free up your time to take on some new and challenging projects, as well as make sure that everything you do is done to time and is of standard. Improve your productivity at work to help you make an impression and demonstrate that you’re a hard, competent worker.

Get a mentor

Getting a mentor is becoming more and more popular, particularly for women in careers that are still very male-orientated. Getting a mentor can help you to identify some good milestones for your career, provide advice and connections as well as be an inspiration. Mentors can be a vital asset and help you get serious about your career.

Seek out opportunities for growth

Not all opportunities are going to come to you – you need to seek them out. Take advantage of any schemes that are offered by your company, and don’t be afraid to ask for opportunities. Shadowing, placements, secondments, etc., can all help you grow your skills and move up the career ladder. Sometimes, if you don’t ask, you don’t get – so it’s always worth chasing those chances when you can.

Start networking

Networking can be a fun way to renew interest in your career, and could also introduce you to some exciting new contacts. Networking is something that you can do outside of work to help you develop your own industry networks that could be a real asset to your career. Do a search for some local networking events and start building new contacts.

Find a better work/life balance

Achieving the right work/life balance is important for you to avoid stress and have a life outside of work. It’s easy to get caught up in your job, but you have to learn when to go home and switch off from work. Take care of your health and wellbeing, a healthy breakfast, plenty of exercise and a good sleep routine can help you keep your physical and mental health in check and stop work from taking over your life.

No matter where you are with your career at the moment, it is possible to make a change for the better. From taking a step back to making a leap forward, start getting serious about improving your career. Think about what you’d like to achieve and put your plans in motion.

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